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County supervisors vote for ‘safe’ phase-out of school mask mandate



The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously voted to ask the state Department of Public Health for a “safe and responsible path” toward phasing out pandemic-related mask requirements for school children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher made the request, saying that since the vaccine has been approved for children, the county needs to continue to plan for next steps as safely as possible.

He added that the vaccine has “put us in a position to begin phasing out those restrictions.”

“There’s a lot of encouraging news,” Fletcher said. “We made it through another surge without running out of health care capacity.”

The county on Monday reported 1,313 new COVID-19 cases and 25 additional virus-related deaths, while Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will lift its indoor mask-wearing requirement for vaccinated people on Feb. 15 — though it will remain in effect for unvaccinated people.

The state’s move means the requirement will be lifted in San Diego County.

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